20. DEBDEN. (B.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)ix. S.W. (b)xiv. N.W. (c)xiv. N.E.
Debden is a large agricultural parish and village,
about 3 m. S. of Saffron Walden. The Church
is the principal monument.
b (1). Parish Church of St. Mary and All
Saints, stands on the W. side of the village. The
walls are of flint and pebble rubble, except the
18th-century parts, which are of brick; the walls
of the nave are covered with cement; the dressings
are of clunch and the walls have embattled parapets
of brick. The roofs are covered with lead, except
those of the chancel and porch, which are covered
with slate. The arcades of the Nave are of early
13th-century date, the N. arcade being probably
the earlier of the two. The South Aisle was rebuilt
and probably widened c. 1340 and the South Porch
was added at the same time. In the 15th century
the North Aisle was rebuilt on the old foundations.
A central tower is said to have fallen in 1698,
destroying the chancel, and the Chancel was rebuilt
in 1793, when the N. aisle was underpinned in
brick, and the parapets of the nave and aisles
were added; about the same time the bell-turret
and spire and the North Vestry were built.
The 14th-century roof of the porch is noteworthy,
and among the fittings the 16th-century iron-bound chest is especially interesting.
The Church, Plan
Architectural Description—The Chancel—with
the chancel-arch, is entirely of the 18th century.
The Nave (61½ ft. by 15 ft.) has a N. arcade of
four bays of c. 1210; the circular columns have
moulded capitals and bases; the bases rest on
square plinths, and were possibly restored late in
the 18th century: the responds have attached halfcolumns; the angles of the E. respond have been
cut away, and those of the W. respond restored in
cement: the obtuse two-centred arches are of two
orders, chamfered on the N. side; on the S. side they
are moulded and have a moulded label. The S.
arcade is of c. 1220, and is similar to the N. arcade,
but with slightly different mouldings; the E. arch
was rebuilt c. 1790 after the fall of the tower, and the
E. column was banded with iron straps at the same
time; the capitals of the second and third columns
(see Plate, p. xxxii.) have carved foliage; the W.
respond has, on the S. side, a chamfered angle with
moulded stops. The clearstorey has, on each side,
three windows of two lights, with wood frames,
probably all of 1793. In the W. wall is a 15th-century window of three cinquefoiled ogee lights
with tracery in a two-centred head; below the
window is the 14th-century W. doorway with jambs
and two-centred arch of two simply moulded orders;
the label is plain.
The North Aisle (7½ ft. wide) has, in the N. wall,
three windows; the easternmost is of three lights,
and probably a late 18th-century copy of the
window opposite to it in the S. aisle; the other two
windows are of the 15th century, and each of two
lights with tracery under a segmental-pointed head;
the heads, labels and tracery are probably of 1793.
Between the two western windows is the 15th-century N. doorway, now blocked the jambs and
two-centred arch are moulded, and the external
label is of cement.
The South Aisle (9 ft. wide) has, in the S. wall,
three windows, all of c. 1340; the easternmost is of
three cinquefoiled lights, with leaf tracery in a two-centred head; the splays had originally small
attached shafts, but have been cut back, only the
moulded bases and a small part of each shaft now
remain: the two western windows are each of
two cinquefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; in both windows the mullions are
modern, and the other stonework is badly
weathered. Between the western windows, and
probably of the same date, is the S. doorway, with
moulded jambs and two-centred arch; the label
has moulded stops.
The South Porch has a 14th-century outer
archway, two-centred and of three orders, the
two outer continuous and the inner resting on a
moulded corbel similar to the label stops of the S.
doorway. In each side wall is a 14th-century
window of two trefoiled lights under a square head.
The Roof of the S.porch has a moulded tie-beam,
king-post, wall-posts and purlin with curved braces
all of the 14th century. The wall-posts rest on
stone corbels and some of the rafters are original.
Fittings—Bells: two; 2nd said to be 14th-century, but inaccessible. Chest: In N. aisle—of
oak, large, with close-set iron bands, drop-handles,
three large locks and clamps, and key, probably
16th-century. Monuments: In chancel—on N.
wall, (1) to Thomas Carter, rector of the parish,
1697, and his wife, 1698, tablet of stone and slate,
with coat of arms. In N. aisle—on N. wall, (2) to
James Stonehouse, 1638, tablet of slate and marble,
with coat of arms, re-constructed in the 18th
century. Piscina: In S. aisle—with cinquefoiled
ogee head, chamfered jambs and broach-stops,
c. 1340; basin missing.
Condition—Fairly good, original external dressings badly perished; some arches distorted by
b (2). S. of Horseley Wood, nearly ¾ m. W. of
b (3). At Witchbarns Farm, 1½ m. S.E. of the
d(4). At Lovecott Farm, fragments, about 2 m.
S.S.E. of the church.
c(5). Tendrings Farm, house and moat, about
1¼ m. E. of the church. The House is of two
storeys, timber-framed and covered with plaster;
the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan, with the wings extending
towards the E. and N.; there is a projecting staircase on the S. front, and a low modern addition
in the angle between the wings. The two chimney-stacks are original. Inside the building the original
ceiling-beams are visible, and there are some wide
fireplaces, now partly blocked.
The Moat surrounding the house is partly
Condition—Of house, fairly good.
b (6). Mole Hall, with outbuildings and moat,
about 1 m. S. of the church. The House is of
two storeys, timber-framed and covered with
plaster; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably
late in the 16th century. The plan is L-shaped,
with the wings extending towards the N.E. and
S.E. The N.W. front has a projecting porch with
an overhanging upper storey. On the S.W. side,
is an original door with moulded top rail and
muntins. On the N.E. side of the S.E. wing is
an original window of three lights, with moulded
frame and mullions. The N.E. wing has an original
central chimney-stack with two square shafts
set diagonally; at the end of the same wing is a
large projecting stack, also original, with two linked
hexagonal shafts. Inside the building the timberframing is visible; many of the rooms have stop-chamfered ceiling-beams, and some of the beams
are supported on shaped posts.
An Outbuilding, S.E. of the house, and probably
of the same date, is of two storeys, timber-framed
and covered with plaster; the roof is tiled. Inside
the building, the ground floor has stop-chamfered
beams in the ceiling; the staircase has solid oak
treads. N.E. of the house is a small square building of the same date and similar to the other outbuilding. A barn, N. of the house, is of five bays,
and has timber-framed and weather-boarded walls,
and a tiled roof. It is probably of late 17th or early
18th-century date, but has, re-used in the roof, two
late 16th-century trusses.
The Moat surrounds the house and N.E. and
S.E. outbuildings, the S. and E. arms have been
Condition—Of house, good; of outbuildings,
ruinous and overgrown with ivy.
b (7). Amberden Hall, with outbuilding and
moats, about 1½ m. S.S.E. of the church. The
House is of two storeys with attics; the walls
are chiefly of red brick; the roofs are tiled. The
original part of the house was built c. 1560, and
formed the N.W. wing of a building extending at
right angles towards the S., as far as the present
garden-wall, which apparently formed part of the
S. wall of the house. The existing building has
on the N. side, an 18th-century addition of the
same length. At the E. end, on the ground floor,
is a wide window with original moulded brick
jambs and a modern head; on the first floor is an
original window of moulded brick and of four lights
with a transom, and an entablature which has
the frieze enriched with sexfoil flowers; the cornice
has been cut away; both the windows have traces
of masonry imitated in plaster. The central
chimney-stack is original, but restored at the top,
and has six detached octagonal shafts with moulded
Interior:—The ground floor has stop-chamfered
ceiling-beams. On the first floor are two original
fireplaces, each with moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head, all of plastered
brick. In the attic is an original fireplace similar to
those on the first floor, but with a moulded cornice
and a frieze enriched with guilloche ornament.
The garden-wall S. of the house includes
apparently the S. wall and the S.W. angle of the
destroyed wing; the wall has a moulded plinth
and traces of a small blocked opening; further E.
in the wall is an original garden doorway with
moulded jambs and three-centred arch.
The Outbuilding, E. of the house, is also of
c. 1560 and of the same construction as the original
part of the house. It is of rectangular plan, with,
a small wing projecting towards the E., and a
modern extension at the N. end. The W., S. and
E. elevations have some original windows, many
of them now blocked, and others altered, all with
moulded brick jambs, mullions and labels, and
with traces of imitation masonry in plaster.
Inside the building the ground floor has stop-chamfered ceiling-beams, one resting on a moulded
bracket. In the N. room the wide open fireplace
has an old iron hook and rack adjustment.
The Moats lie S. and N.E. of the house, and one
arm of each moat has been obliterated. The N.E.
moat is partly dry, and the N. arm is obliterated.
Condition—Of house, good; of outbuilding, fairly
b (8–9). New Amberden Hall and Thistley
Hall, 1¾ m. and nearly 1½ m. S.S.E. of the church,
are each of two storeys with attics. The walls,
are of red brick; the roofs are tiled. Both houses
were built c. 1670, and are almost identical in
design. In each house the S. front has a brick
band between the storeys; the central entrance
doorway has a fanlight of two lights and a flat
wooden hood; on each side of the doorway are two
original windows, each of two transomed lights
and on the first floor are five similar windows;
the attics are lighted by dormer windows. The
roofs are brought down low at the back, and the E.
and W. ends have each an original chimney-stack,
between two small blocked windows.
New Amberden Hall: On the S. front three of
the windows are blocked. Inside the building
on the ground floor the W. room has a moulded
ceiling-beam, and other rooms have chamfered
ceiling-beams; one wide fireplace remains unaltered. The original staircase in the middle of
the house has square newels, turned balusters and
moulded handrails. Two panelled doors are
probably of the 16th century, and brought from
Thistley Hall (see Plate, p. xxiv.) has stop-chamfered beams in the ceilings of various rooms.
The original staircase is similar to that at New
Amberden Hall, but the newels have moulded ball-stops.
Condition—Of New Amberden Hall, fairly
good; of Thistley Hall, good.
c (10). Weildbarns Farm, about 1¾ m. S.E. of
the church, is a house of two storeys, timber-framed
and covered with plaster; the roofs are tiled. It
was built probably late in the 16th century on a
rectangular plan, facing S., with a small wing at
the back; the S.E. wing, which makes the plan
L-shaped, is probably an addition on the S. front
and at the W. end of the original block the upper
storey projects. The E. end has been partly
re-faced with modern brick, and has an original
projecting chimney-stack. Inside the building the
original ceiling-beams and wall-posts are exposed,
and there is a wide open fireplace.
b (11). Dean's Farm, house and outbuilding,
about ½ m. E.N.E. of the church. The House is
of two storeys, timber-framed and covered with
plaster; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the
17th century on a rectangular plan, and an
extension was made on the N. side in the 18th
century. The chimney-stack is original. Inside
the building, on the ground floor, the two western
rooms have intersecting stop-chamfered beams in
the ceilings, and in one room there is a wide fireplace
now blocked. In the 18th-century part of the
house is some early 17th-century oak panelling,
The Outbuilding, near the house and of the same
date, was formerly of two storeys; the walls are
partly timber-framed and weather-boarded, and
partly of brick; the roof is tiled.
Condition—Of house, good; of outbuilding,
a (12). Brick House, about ¾ m. N.W. of the
church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls
are partly timber-framed and covered with plaster,
and partly of brick; the roofs are tiled. It
was built in the 15th century on a rectangular
plan, facing W., but in the 17th century a S.W.
wing was added, making the plan L-shaped; the
staircase-wing at the back was added at the same
time. On the W. front of the main block the upper
storey projects at each end, and has, in the middle
bay, curved braces supporting the continuous
eaves; the lower storey, with the N. end and part
of the back, has been re-faced with modern brick.
The central chimney-stack is of early 17th-century
date, and has diagonal pilasters. The 17th-century
wings have brick walls. Inside the building the
rails of the staircase in the projecting wing are
possibly of late 17th-century date. The roof of
the main block has an original truss with an
octagonal king-post, which has a moulded capital
and curved four-way struts.
The following buildings, unless otherwise
described, are of the 17th century, and of two
storeys, timber-framed and covered with plaster;
the roofs are tiled or thatched. Some of the
buildings have original chimney-stacks, wide
fireplaces, and exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good unless noted.
a (13). Pamphillion's Farm, house, nearly 1¼ m.
N. of the church, is of two storeys, with attics. It
was originally of L-shaped plan, with the wings
extending towards the W. and N., but modern
additions have been made N. and W. of the W.
wing. Inside the building the timber construction
with shaped wall-posts, is visible in most of the
a (14). Cottage, 50 yards S.W. of (13).
a (15). Cottage, 370 yards E.S.E. of (14). The
original chimney-stack is of cross-shaped plan.
a (16). Cottage, 210 yards S. of (14). The ends
are weather-boarded, and the original chimney-stack is of cross-shaped plan.
a (17). House, 120 yards S. of (16) is of two storeys
with attics. On the E. front the upper storey
has a number of original plaster panels, one bearing
the date 1660; three of the panels are lozenge-shaped, and one at the S. end has imitation quoins
and pediment; they probably surround a blocked
window, and traces of similar quoining adjoin three
of the existing windows.
a (18). Newhouse Farm, house, 230 yards S.S.E. of
(17), on the E. side of the road, is of two storeys
with attics. The timber-framing has been partly
re-faced with modern brick. The original rectangular plan has modern additions at the back,
making it of irregular form. The original chimney-stack at the S. end is of unusually great projection.
Inside the building the timber-framing is visible,
and at the S. end is a wide fireplace with a cornerseat and a deep locker on the E. side, and a small
blocked window on the W. side.
Condition—Plastering defective at the N. end.
a (19). Cottage, now two tenements, 430 yards
S. of (18), on the W. side of the road.
Water Lane, S. side
a (20). Cottage, nearly ¾ m. N.E. of the church.
a (21). Cottage, 340 yards E. of (20) is of two
storeys with attics. It was built c. 1700 on a
rectangular plan; a modern addition at the back
makes the plan L-shaped.
b (22). The White Hart Inn, on the N. side of the
road, 550 yards E.N.E. of the church, has been
much altered and enlarged; the roofs are partly
covered with slate.
b (23). Cottage, now two tenements, and a clubroom, 80 yards E. of (22).
b (24). The Plough Inn, 200 yards E.S.E. of (23),
has been much altered and enlarged.
b (25). Cottage, 60 yards S.E. of (24), is weather-boarded at the S. end.
b (26). Brocton's Farm, house, ½ m. S.E. of the
church, is of two storeys with attics. It was
built probably late in the 16th century on an
L-shaped plan, with the wings extending towards
the N. and E. The N. wing was rebuilt towards
the end of the 17th century, and the house was
much altered in 1810. Inside the building, on
the ground floor, the E. room is lined with, late
16th or early 17th-century oak panelling, with a
fluted frieze. The entrance hall has a dado of
similar character, and on the N. side of the fireplace is a locker with an oak door which has original
cock's-head hinges. The upper part of the staircase, in the angle between the wings, has turned
balusters and newels and a moulded hand-rail,
all of late 17th-century date. On the first floor is
some re-used panelling similar to that on the ground
floor; in the N. wing is an original roof-truss with
cambered tie-beam and shaped wall-posts.
Condition—Plaster defective in places.
Rook End, N. side
b (27). Rook End Farm, house, 1,000 yards S.
of the church, with modern additions at the back.
b (28). Cottage, now two tenements, 220 yards
W. of (27).
b (29). Cottage, 200 yards W. of (28).
b (30). Cottage, W. of (29), with a low modern
addition on the W. side. The S. end is partly
b (31). Miller's Farm, house, nearly ¾ m. E.S.E.
of the church. The N. front has two ranges
of plaster panels ornamented with zig-zag pattern; those in the lower range have each a round
arch under a square head; almost all the panels
in the upper range are rectangular; two of them
each enclose a quatrefoil and a third an oval
b (32). Cottage, formerly two tenements, 200
yards E. of (31) has some original casement windows.
b (33). Slough Farm, house, nearly 1¼ m. E.S.E.
of the church, was built in the 16th century,
on a rectangular plan, facing N., with a
slightly projecting cross-wing at the W. end. A
kitchen-wing was added at the back in the 17th
c (34). Measant's Charity, house, 600 yards
E.N.E. of (33), has some original casement
c (35). Lacey's Farm Cottage, 1½ m. E.S.E. of
the church, has some original casement windows
c (36). Cottage, ½ m. E. of (35), has been patched
with modern brick and has some original casement windows.
c (37). Dick's Farm, house, now two tenements,
nearly 2 m. E. of the church, with a low modern
addition at the back.
c (38). Barnard's Farm, house, 360 yards N.N.E.
of (37) has a small staircase wing at the back, and
a low modern addition at the E. end. There are
some original casement windows. Inside the
building, the shaped wall-posts are exposed, and
the open fireplace is fitted with an old iron hook
c (39). Cottage, 2 m. E.S.E. of the church, and
100 yards S.W. of the cross-roads, is partly
c (40). Roother's Farm, house, 240 yards S.W.
of (39), has an 18th century wing at the
back, making the plan L-shaped. In front, the
S.W. end of the upper storey projects, and is
gabled; the bressumer has three old curved
brackets beneath it.
c (41). Sparrow's Farm, house, 2 m. S.E. of the
church. The front is plastered, the back and
ends are weather-boarded.
c (42). Leggett's Farm, house, 430 yards S. of
(41). is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending
towards the W. and S. The S. wing was lengthened
in the 18th century.
c (43). Cottage, 580 yards W.N.W. of (42), with
a low modern addition at the E. end.
c (44). Scot's Farm, house, 130 yards W. of
(43), is of two storeys with attics, and was
built 1570–80. The S. half of the building was
probably altered late in the 17th century;
there are 18th-century or later additions on
the S. and E. On the E. front the N. end projects
slightly, and has a gable with an original pierced
barge-board, and a moulded pendant; on the
return wall of the projecting end the upper storey
overhangs and is gabled. At the back there is
a gable similar to that in front, and in it is a small
original window of two lights, with moulded jambs
and mullion. The original central chimney-stack
has four octagonal shafts, linked together and set
saltirewise on a square base. Inside the building
on the ground floor the N. room has a moulded
and chamfered wall-post. On the first floor, in the
N. room, is an original fireplace of plastered brick,
with a four-centred arch under a square head;
above the opening is a frieze with foliage ornament
surmounted by a moulded shelf; the fireplace is
flanked by pilasters carried up to support a frieze
and cornice, which are continued along the wall
at the ceiling level, and enriched with running
ornament and lions' faces at intervals; the opposite
wall has a frieze similar to that supported by the
pilasters. The room S. of the central chimney-stack has a fireplace of similar type.
d (45). Old Hole Cottage, ¼ m. S.W. of New
Amberden Hall, has a half-hipped gable at each
end, and three flat dormer windows in front.
c (46). Mount, about 1¾ m. E.S.E. of the church
and 300 yards N.E. of Weildbarns Farm, is surrounded by a circular ditch, except on the W.
Dunmow, Great and Little, see Great
Dunmow and Little Dunmow.
Easton, Great and Little, see Great Easton
and Little Easton.